Saturday, January 15, 2011

muscle memory

i am 32. i have had 3 kids. my body is factually much different than when i was in high school. not just the outward obvious appearance...but inwardly too - my organs have all shifted around with each child and are trying to learn how to fall back in place. i am not embittered in this, however...i was fortunate enough to watch this program when bryson (my first) was just a babe, in which a group of moms were being interviewed about body image after childbirth.
i do not recall much about the show, save for this Indian woman who said, "it amazes me that American women go through pregnancy and childbirth and expect their bodies to go back to their original state. our bodies are so amazing to actually create a human soul and grow that soul into a child and birth that child into the world and to not expect to have changed your body forever seems silly. i do not look at my body as worse for having a child, rather blessed." i mean, i paraphrased her from my very-altered memory...but that is the gist of what she said. and i was changed by it. these are not "stretch-marks" they are my body's memory of being pregnant - a tattoo if you will...i am not shamed by them. of course my body is changed forever...i gave life to 3 human beings. how amazing is our bodies?

i am writing this because i have recently started dancing again. on a weekly basis. also, more recently, on a competitive basis...meaning that our dance class comprised of my old high school dance team is learning a routine we intend to compete in may. so we took it up a notch, if you will.

i had an "a-ha" moment last week in dance class as we were learning the routine. the week before i had become a little frustrated because it seemed like everyone else picked up the choreo faster/easier than me, but this week i was surprised to learn that it was all there - it just took a while to sink its way into my muscle memory. this week as we were learning the same thing started happening, but by the end of class i had worked out the kink in my brain and muscles from this 8-count and i finally got that step and i realized i did the SAME exact thing in High School.

what just a week before i had become depressed upon, had now donned on me that the memory embedded in muscles were trying to enliven in their new state. i could not expect me to be the dancer i was 17 years ago, just like my body could not be the body i had then as well.

to some, this may depress me i am encouraged! because of birthing two children naturally, at home, i have this amazing respect for my body. i have this knowledge that my body can do things beyond my mental capacity, beyond my tolerance...i may not be able to do a triple pirouette like i used to...i may not knock out fouettes like before, but oh my goodness my muscles do things on their own - designed by God to do amazing things. i trust my body more. i do not limit my body like before. i know, that with time, i can waken those long lost muscles to dance. maybe not like in high school, but oh goodness..they can dance!

the amazing thing is that awakening those muscles have led to involuntary dances everywhere. its like i allowed my body to dance again. in the kitchen making dinner, pushing the stroller, playing with the boys outside...if there is music my body responds. my muscle memory is awakened and in doing so it awakened a part of my soul longing to express joy in physical movement....much to the delight of my husband and children! i find myself dancing through my day and that dancing lifts my soul because God designed me to dance and i had forgotten how.

luckily, through this blog and writing again i have found a portable way to express myself, but it has been here all along, in my muscle memory, finally released through dance and i kick myself that i haven't continued dancing in this way.

i look forward to allowing these old muscles of mine to express themselves. i look forward to more kitchen dancing...both alone and with my also talented dancing show my boys that dancing is God's gift to us to express things beyond words...and that dance should accompany celebratory moments as well as things we can not express but need to. i look forward to showing them that if, along the way they forget, they can trust that their muscles remember. that our muscles always can remember if we let them.

1 comment:

Botill Family said...

Wonderful post!! Love it! Thanks for posting... yes, I am just some random person, LOL.